Sony has revealed more about its upcoming, next-generation PlayStation console at an investor relations meeting this week, showing off faster loading times and its plans for cloud gaming.
We already know the PlayStation 5, as the new console is expected to be called, will support 8K graphics, 3D audio, and feature SSD storage and backwards compatibility with PlayStation 4 games. The SSD storage promises to speed up loading times dramatically, and at the event Sony revealed just how much faster its new console will be.
In a demonstration, Sony showed how its new console was able to load the Spider-Man game in less than a second, which is a huge improvement on the 8 seconds it takes for the older PS4 to do the same. The PS5 is also able to handle the dynamic maps that load up certain parts of the game as it’s in progress, thereby avoiding any pauses when moving from one part of the game to another.
Also at the meeting, Sony said it’s PS4 console will continue to be its main “engine of engagement and profitability” for the next three years while adoption of the new console grows. But to encourage early adopters, the company said the PS5 will be backwards compatible with PS4 games.
While pricing and release dates remain unavailable for now (the PS5 likely won’t appear until some time next year), Sony did reveal more about its plans for cloud gaming, which it sees as a central part of its next-generation console. Executives said the company is planning to use its existing PlayStation Now network to support 1080p games, while also improving the quality of its streaming content.
PlayStation Now has come in for criticism in the past due to its lack of content, which falls well short of what’s offered by Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass. But Sony said it’s planning to expand its capacity to support up to five million subscribers via a recently announced partnership with Microsoft that will see it leverage its rivals’ cloud computing services.
Although cloud gaming is a big ambition for Sony, the company said it still believes in gamer choice, and for that reason the PS5 is also likely to a feature a Blu-ray drive and support game downloads, in addition to regular discs.